The Spanish government announced on Sunday, May 19, that it was recalling the Spanish ambassador to Argentina until further notice, accusing the Argentine president, Javier Milei, of having “insulted Spain” and its prime minister, Pedro Sanchez, during a speech given in Madrid a few hours earlier.

Mr. Milei made the words in question during a belligerent speech at the Europa Viva 24 convention organized by the Spanish far-right party Vox, of which he was the guest of honor. During this congress, which was also attended by Marine Le Pen, the Argentine president, in open conflict for several weeks with the Spanish government, attacked the prime minister’s wife, Begoña Sanchez, without directly naming her: “When you a corrupt woman, you get dirty and take five days to think about it. » These comments follow the opening by the Spanish courts of a preliminary investigation for “influence peddling” and “corruption” targeting Ms. Sanchez.

In a solemn declaration, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, also announced that Madrid was demanding “a public apology” from Mr. Milei, following the controversial remarks made by the Argentine head of state a few hours earlier on Mr. Sanchez’s wife.

“The extremely serious words spoken today [Sunday] by Mr. Milei in Madrid go beyond any type of political and ideological differences,” denounced Mr. Albares in a televised statement read a few hours after the Argentine president’s remarks . For these reasons, “I have just recalled our ambassador to Buenos Aires sine die for consultations and Spain demands a public apology from Mr. Milei.”

Mr. Milei made these remarks at the end of a three-day visit to Spain, during which he met neither King Felipe VI nor Pedro Sanchez, with whom he maintains frosty relations and who had supported his rival Sergio Massa during the Argentine presidential election.